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Billy Crystal tweets that he's hosting the Oscars

By Derrik J. Lang

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Nov. 10 2011 4:16 p.m. MST

LOS ANGELES — Veteran Oscar host Billy Crystal says he's doing it again.

The 63-year-old comedian said Thursday on Twitter that he is "doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions. Looking forward to the show."

Academy officials confirmed the announcement and said an official statement was forthcoming but had no further comment.

Crystal last hosted the show in 2004.

This will be the ninth Oscar stint for Crystal, who last hosted in 2004. It follows a groundswell of sentiment for his return following a guest appearance on the 2011 Oscar show for which he received a standing ovation. Crystal said later he was moved by the warm reception and that "it might be fun" to host the show again.

"I think the show needs to change," he said in an interview with The Associated Press in March. "There's too many awards and it has to sort of freshen itself up, and if I can be a part of that, that would be great."

Crystal previously hosted in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2004, some of the most successful shows in Oscar history. The past two ceremonies featured the duos of Anne Hathaway and James Franco and Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, while Hugh Jackman hosted solo in 2009.

Eddie Murphy had been chosen to host the Feb. 26, 2012, show, but he pulled out Wednesday following the departure on Tuesday of producer and friend Brett Ratner over an anti-gay slur.

Ratner left amid criticism of his use of a pejorative term for gay men in a question-and-answer session at a screening of the director's action comedy "Tower Heist," which opened last weekend and stars Murphy and Ben Stiller. Ratner was replaced this week by veteran producer Brian Grazer, joining co-producer Don Mischer, who was named producer alongside Ratner in August.

Online:

http://www.oscars.org/

AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report.

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